April 20, 2014
David Oliver’s hurdling style has often been compared to that of two-time Olympic champion Roger Kingdom, and in the two photos above you can see why. In a previous post I discussed Oliver’s “shoulder lean” style based on the above photo (on the left), and you can see that Kingdom (on the right) had a similar shoulder lean, putting his upper body weight over his lead leg, pushing that leg back to the ground, thereby reducing hurdle clearance time.
In these two photos, Oliver and Kingdom are almost at the exact same point of clearance. I would say though that Oliver is a slightly improved version of Kingdom. D.O.’s trail arm is tighter, with the elbow rising straight up for a quick punch back up instead of flaring out for balance. His lead leg is descending whereas Kingdom’s is straighter. Oliver’s lean over the thigh is deeper. And although the trail legs are almost identical, D.O.’s ankle is flexed so that his toe is pointing up.
I would guess that D.O. has done his share of studying Kingdom’s technique, of mastering the things Kingdom did well and of adding his own refinements to it.